Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
My plan was simple, to place myself for a few days along the East coast of the UK to enjoy the autumn migration of birds. The first days were spent at Spurn Point at the tip of the Humber estuary, a prime migration hotspot . Its has been many years since I’ve visited the area so I arrived with lots of excitement to what I might get to photograph. It would not disappoint . The previous weeks along the coastline have been a migration to remember with lots of rare and common migrants making landfall. Siberian Accentor,Red-flanked Bluetails,Eastern-crowned Warbler to name just a few of the incredible birds which made a lot of people happy. My plan was a bit different as I love to experience more of the common birdlife and capture some images and just enjoy the moment.
The Common Redstart( probable 1st winter female) image was a classic case on how I like to work. By staying with a subject which is tolerant you come back with a great variety of images instead chasing around just recording lots of different images of various birds which turn into just ‘snaps’. This bird I actually photographed over two days providing me with many memorable images. A bird I have not had much luck with in the past,so I was more than happy with the results and the experience of photographing a bird on its southward migration.
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
Another species which were about in large numbers were the Goldcrest, At times I even had these tiny birds flying in-between my legs and fluttering before my face. Just great fun to watch and photograph. I never turn an opportunity down no matter how many times I’ve captured an image of a species, there’s always something different,lighting,backgrounds,feeding habits all change so “fill your boots” no matter what. Another bird species which seemed to be everywhere was the Chiffchaff. Although common in the UK in spring/summer, I photographed this species whenever the situation looked good and used my attitude of photographing what’s in front of me and “fill your boots”. Are you getting the idea now?
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Another bird which was extremely frustrating to capture an image of was the Yellow browed Warbler, although I managed a few frames of this hyper active species it was in dappled sunlight with harsh sunspots, not ideal. I will have to wait for my next chance which hopefully might be this coming autumn. Jack snipe also was a bird i’ve never photographed before so after three attempts my chance came during a heavy rain shower and I watched with marvel at this bird’s feeding behaviour of bobbing while searching for food. The seven birds also made for great viewing which for the most part were very heavily camouflaged in the reeds,but I did capture a couple of birds which fed briefly in the open.Happy times.
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)
Moving up the coastline to Bempton to view more migrant birds and visit a friend added another new species of bird which I haven’t photographed before which was the Red-breasted Flycatcher. The bird had been around for a week or so and had been showing very well so I didn’t miss my chance when the bird landed on an exposed branch among some tall trees at eye level.
Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva)
So a great taste of migration and all it can offer. My approach is different to most at this time of year ignoring the mega’s in favour of quality time with the common. I was disappointed to miss out on the Eastern-crowned Warbler several days before , but hopefully next time. The weather for the most part was nice with plenty of good light and I hadn’t travelled far.I managed to taste some nice beer and food and slept well. A really nice time full of great memories and plenty of birdlife.
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
Also a massive thanks to everyone who followed me and liked my posts in 2016. Have a wonder filled 2017.